John McAfee may from time to time come off as extremist or even a believer of conspiracies, but I must admit that every now and then he successfully startles me. Today, he compared the statistics for the US’s reporting on Covid-19 and came to a surprising conclusion, namely that New York City has a reported death rate about 200 times higher than the world’s 10 largest cities.
I went ahead and checked Mr McAfee’s comments and although you can argue about which are indeed the world’s largest cities, his list seems pretty accurate. He mentioned Tokyo (Japan), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Mumbai (India), Cairo (Egypt), Mexico City (Mexico), Delhi (India), Beijing (China), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Osaka (Japan) and Shanghai (China).
For the sake of argument, let’s omit Beijing and Shanghai from that list as the world media pretty much agrees at this point that the numbers provided by the Chinese government are doubtful at best. This leaves you of course with a lot of cities that are situated around the equator and thus are warmer, which could be an explanation, but still….
Furthermore, Mr McAfee’s argument takes into account the figures from Johns Hopkins which he claims (at the time of writing his tweet) read NYC 11,000 fatalities. As of today, that same map reads a whopping 17,000 for NYC though.
Also interesting: Has Covid finally killed off celebrity culture? ‘As a nurse, I’m horrified of infecting my family but the one thing that gives me strength every day is watching Ellen broadcast from her mansion….’
Mr McAfee pointed out that hospitals in NYC receive ‘$39,000 for every patient diagnosed with Covid-19’, which refers to a claim made by Republican State Senator Scott Jensen from Minnesota, who stated: ‘Hospital administrators might well want to see COVID-19 attached to a discharge summary or a death certificate.’
‘Why? Because if it’s a straightforward, garden-variety pneumonia that a person is admitted to the hospital for – if they’re Medicare – typically, the diagnosis-related group lump sum payment would be $5,000. But if it’s COVID-19 pneumonia, then it’s $13,000, and if that COVID-19 pneumonia patient ends up on a ventilator, it goes up to $39,000.’
USA Today investigated the claim in a story earlier this week, and checked it with Marty Makary, a surgeon and professor of health policy and management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. In an email dated 21 April, the latter replied that ‘what Scott Jensen said sounds right to me.’
The newspaper concluded after their investigation that the the claim that hospitals get paid more if patients are listed as COVID-19 and on ventilators as TRUE.
The billionaire owner of the antivirus system which carries his name thus seems to make an interesting point indeed. And this is not the first time he does so this month.
Just last week, he correctly pointed out that Microsoft’s ‘human crypto mining patent’ carries an ominous message inside it, which was pointed out by the UK press as well in the past few days. The Independent, one of the largest newspapers of the British isles, ran with the headline ‘Microsoft wants to read people’s brain waves.’.